The thermal springs in Petriolo, on the river Farma between Siena and Grosseto, have been a pleasure destination for centuries.
Folgore da San Gimignano, a 13th-century comic-realist poet, mentions them in the first verse of one of his sonnets dedicated to the twelve months – “And in November Petriuolo, the baths”. The poem is included in a collection of his, dedicated to “plazer” (Provençal for “pleasure”), which lists a series of enjoyable social situations in rhyme, following a tradition appreciated by many medieval literature critics.
The hot hydrogen-sulfide-rich waters of Petriolo – known since Etruscan and Roman times – have always attracted famous figures, including Giovanni de Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni (uncle and mother of Lorenzo the Magnificent), the marquis Alessandro Gonzaga, and pope Pius II Piccolomini.
Today the springs continue to provide a wonderful occasion for pleasure and relaxation, open to anyone.